We're celebrating Shakespeare's 455th birthday today (23 April), with a series of events and activities coming to Stratford this weekend.

This Saturday, 27 April, Stratford-upon-Avon hosts its annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations.

William Shakespeare was born here 455 years ago in 1564. Although we can't be sure of the exact dates, he is famously considered to be have been born and died on the same date - 23 April - and is buried in the town of his birth, in the Church of the Holy Trinity. 

Here at the RSC, we have lots of free events for the whole family to celebrate the day, including:

  • Theatre-making demonstrations and workshops
  • Family craft activities
  • Sonnet readings on the river
  • Pop-up performances of All the Street's a Stage around the town

And why not take the chance to enjoy one of our regular tours, or stop off for a visit to our exhibition of theatre making, The Play's The Thing?

You can also buy tickets for the birthday performance of The Taming of the Shrew, taking place in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at 7.15pm. 

Visit our Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations page to see the full list of events for the day, plus details of the annual Birthday Parade through the town.

A man dressed as an Elizabethan wearing a ruff shakes hands with a woman carrying a flower
Meeting a fan during the 2016 birthday parade.
Photo by David Tett © RSC Browse and license our images

Shakespeare Marathon

Alongside the celebrations, the Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon will be taking place on Sunday 28 April. A group of RSC runners will be taking part, made up of 11 staff from different departments, including Executive Director Catherine Mallyon. The team are raising money for our Costume Workshop through the Stitch In Time campaign, which supports the restoration and redevelopment of the Workshop.

After smashing their fundraising target of £10,000, the runners are now hoping to raise £13,100, representing £1,000 for each mile they will run.

To support Catherine and the Running Wardrobe team, visit the Stitch In Time JustGiving page.